Tag Archives: writing

Cerebral Crotch Rockets, Reblog

This just shot through the ether and landed on Dogpatch’s doorstep. Kristen’s post is guaranteed to muscle you into the writing zone. Enjoy!



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Mardi Gras Dogs – Showing Our Shelves

Call of the Siren and Jilanne Hoffmann have issued an all shelf bulletin, asking readers to present their bookshelves to the world, or at least some of them. In the game of “we’ll show you ours if you show us yours,” someone always has to go first. So in the spirit of Mardi Gras, we’re gonna give ya a little tease.Photo: 123RF_

Here are three from Jilanne Hoffmann’s office. Is she missing any “must have” book on writing? Are there any in her collection you’d suggest she toss?Bookshelves 027 Bookshelves 028 Bookshelves 029
Continue reading


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I’m Hearing Voices, Strong Ones – Paragraph Analysis

“Two things to get straight from the beginning: I hate doctors and have never joined a support group in my life. At seventy-three, I’m not about to change. The mental health establishment can go screw itself on a barren hilltop in the rain before I touch their snake oil or listen to the visionless chatter of men half my age. I have shot Germans in the fields of Normandy, filed twenty-six patents, married three women, survived them all, Continue reading


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Dreams Come True – An Author and Child Connect

Folks, I cried when I read this, so I’m reblogging from Publishers Weekly. Get out your tissues:



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Writing Styles – What is Yours? A Test

Check out the writing analysis in a post by Joe N, a nurse working, living, and writing in Nepal.

The tool he highlights dovetails nicely with a book I’m reading, Stanley Fish’s “How to Write a Sentence.” It’s an interesting analysis of writing styles, but the tool found in Joe’s post may also use verb selection and placement, sentence length, and vocabulary to make the analysis more complete. Continue reading

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Shakespeare – Sonnet for Writers

shakespeare books 006


“Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind’s imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning may thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show,
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know
Time’s thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory cannot contain,
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nurs’d, deliver’d from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.”


Those “in the know” believe this sonnet was inscribed in a book with blank leaves. 

Put it at the top of your own blank page for inspiration.

Happy day after the great Shakes Day!!



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Pixar’s Story Tips

This dog

Dogpatch white dog

was wandering around through someone else’s blog this morning, Circles Under Streetlightsand discovered a fab reblog of Pixar’s story writing tips from the Indie Writers Guide.

Check out both sites for additional great info. 

Hope your Thursday writing selves are getting things done!

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True Words from Chinua Achebe

“…mediocrity destroys the very fabric of a country as surely as a war — ushering in all sorts of banality, ineptitude, corruption and debauchery,” wrote Achebe…

This observation rings true for all societies, not just Nigeria. It’s one that all writers, all artists, all workers should take to heart. Be wary of “good enough.” Be wary of those who disparage learning. Strive for perfection. Although you will never reach that goal, your work will be far better for the struggle. Rest in peace, Mr. Achebe. You have earned it.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Chinua-Achebe-celebrated-Nigerian-novelist-dies-4376128.php#ixzz2OIH3Y54G


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Putting the Egg Together – Writing Picture Books

The fallacy: “Writing children’s picture books should be as easy as, well, cracking an egg from a long drop.”

This fallacy shares a bed with: “It’s only a few hundred words. I can crank that out in my sleep.”

And there’s another hiding under the covers: “I read picture books when I was a kid, and I’ve read them to kids. That makes me an expert.”

Makes for a pretty crowded bed, eh?

Shortly after stripping the bed and exposing these thoughts to the world, writers begin to mutter, “I didn’t know it would be this difficult.” Continue reading


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Students of the essay take note: the above post from Café Casey is a lovely take on the learning process, whether it is painting, composing, or writing. Owning and then transforming “influence.”

Café Casey

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 5.53.48 AMI was looking at a picture of bamboo. I love bamboo. I have spent so many hours painting it. In my sumi-e practice, I have painted a million bamboo plants. In the beginning, I thought this was insane repetition. In Western schools you don’t sit and write the letter “e” a million times. Maybe that’s why I always flunked handwriting.

I used to sit and work on the same image or same kanji hundreds of times. Eventually, I learned, it was all the same. To create an image a thousand times is to create it once. Bamboo, chrysanthemum, a cherry blossom–whatever. The goal is to reach perfection. The reality is that perfection doesn’t exist. The perfection is, in fact, in imperfection. Sometimes, our drive to be perfect consumes us. We suffer. Practicing these arts teaches us eventually that the learning–the experience–is in the journey–perfection is just a destination to imagine…

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